Lance Berkman, Houston Astros Part Ways: Deal Sends Slugger To Yankees

Denton RamseySenior Analyst IJuly 31, 2010

HOUSTON - JULY 30:  First baseman Lance Berkman, left, of the Houston Astros talks with general manager Ed Wade during batting practice before the Astros play the Milwaukee Brewers at Minute Maid Park on July 30, 2010 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images)
Bob Levey/Getty Images

It’s a sad day for the city of Houston, Texas, and the Astros franchise.

On Saturday, July 31—the final day of the trade deadline—the Houston Astros ended the Lance Berkman era when they sent the All-Star slugger to the New York Yankees.

Houston will be receiving two minor league prospects in exchange for Berkman.

“I never thought I would be in this position—never had to go through it,” Berkman told beat writer Brian McTaggart on Friday. “It’s unsettling, because you just don’t know what’s going to happen and there are all sorts of possibilities. I guess in one sense it’s good because there are teams that want me to play for them, particularly in a down season.”

So long, Puma: You’ll be deeply missed deep in the heart of Texas.

A lifetime Astro, Berkman is now heading north to don pinstripes.

Don’t blame Berkman, though. I’m fairly certain he only did this to help out the ball club.

“I’m from Texas; heck, I played at Rice,” Berkman said Friday night. “This city is like the womb. I feel very comfortable here. To think about the possibility of going anywhere else is kind of scary.”

However, scary is now reality.

But Berkman’s heart and soul will always remain in Houston, along with his countless clutch hits and Minute Maid Park memories.

According to McTaggart, Berkman will likely be serving as the full-time designated hitter for the Yankees. He’ll be in uniform tonight for New York when they face the Tampa Bay Rays.

Berkman’s replacement at first base, Brett Wallace—whose contract was recently purchased by Triple-A Round Rock—will be starting on Saturday night for the Astros when Houston hosts Milwaukee.

When I first heard about this trade when I first woke up this morning, only one word came to mind, and it’s still flashing brightly in a blurred memory of what’s to come: Speechless.

As unsettling as this news may be, it’s sadly reality as Houston embarks on a new era with their baseball team.

Astros fans should be prepared for a rough road ahead as the club aims to revamp and rebuild around youth, speed, and talent.

Will Roy Oswalt and Berkman be missed?

No doubt about it; and what they did for the Houston Astros franchise cannot even be fairly expressed in words.

I, for one, believe this is a sad day for the Astros, and it’s going to be extremely difficult for me to watch my beloved Berkman playing in pinstripes tonight for the Yankees…


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